[FAQ200] What you should know about purchasing Carlson Software
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About Carlson Software, the Company

Carlson Software is a software developer based out of Maysville, Kentucky. They have been developing land development-focused software since 1983 and their offerings include modules for the land surveying, civil engineering, construction and mining industries.

FAQ: About Carlson Software

About Carlson, the Software

Carlson’s desktop programs run on 64-bit MS Windows-based computers.

Carlson programs work natively and produce DWG format files. There is NO need to convert, import or export – only Open and Save.

The programs are primarily delivered as “vertical” modules that can be installed and run on top of a generic-CAD platform.

Carlson’s desktop modules for land surveying, engineering and construction are built to run on top of the ITC’s IntelliCAD and Autodesk’s AutoCAD platforms. The modules include: Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Geology, Underground Mining, Surface Mining, Natural Regrade, Field, CADnet, GeoTech, Trench, Construction and Point Clouds.

Additionally, Survey and Takeoff are developed and run on top of an embedded AutoCAD (OEM).

You Have Options!
Purchase Carlson with the Platform that's Best for You

Option 1: With IntelliCAD/for YOUR AutoCAD

Carlson’s desktop programs can be installed as a standalone program on top of IntelliCAD or on top of your separately-purchased, full-AutoCAD-based program.

Each purchase includes a license of the latest version of IntelliCAD – it doesn’t have to be purchased separately.

Your separately-purchased, full-AutoCAD-based program can be AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3D or other vertical – but does NOT include AutoCAD LT.

The following modules are available with IntelliCAD/for YOUR AutoCAD: Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Geology, Underground Mining, Surface Mining, Natural Regrade, Field, CADnet, GeoTech, Trench, Construction and Point Clouds

 

Option 2: With embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson Survey and Takeoff can be purchased and installed standalone with embedded AutoCAD (also known as the OEM version).

Each purchase includes a license of the latest version of embedded AutoCAD (OEM) – it doesn’t have to be purchased separately.

Note that embedded AutoCAD (OEM) is more similar to AutoCAD LT than AutoCAD – so, experienced AutoCAD users may end up missing much of the functionality they are accustomed to.

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs do not include IntelliCAD and do not require a separate purchase of AutoCAD.

Importantly, although both programs can be installed on the same computer, programs installed with the OEM platform will be completely separate from those installed with IntelliCAD/your AutoCAD.  This means that you will not be able to work in a DWG file and simply switch between menus – you’ll have to close the drawing in one program in order to open it in the other.

Carlson's Versions vs AutoCAD's Versions

Carlson Software typically releases a new version of their programs approximately 4-6 months after Autodesk releases each new version of AutoCAD.

Carlson Software will run on earlier versions of AutoCAD; however, you cannot run a version of Carlson that is older than the AutoCAD. For instance, Carlson 2024 will run on AutoCAD 2018-2024 but Carlson 2022 will only run on AutoCAD 2018-2022.

Which Program or Modules Do I Need?

We definitely recommend that you request a 30-day trial and test it for yourself – but here are links to help you decide!

Retail Pricing for Carlson Software vs That CAD Girl Pricing

* Prices shown in our online store reflects Carlson Software’s Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy but additional discounts may be available at checkout or by requesting custom pricing.

ProgramRetail Price of Standalone
(effective 10/16/2023)
Retail Price of NetworkThat CAD Girl Pricing
Select Suite - Pick 6 (from Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Point Cloud Basic, CadNet)$ 4,950$ 5,445* See in store
Select Suite - Pick 5 (from Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Point Cloud Basic, CadNet)$ 4,650$ 5,115* See in store
Civil Suite or Select Suite Pick 4 (from Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Point Cloud Basic, CadNet)$ 4,250$ 4,675* See in store
Select Suite - Pick 3 (from Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Point Cloud Basic, CadNet)$ 3,850$ 4,235* See in store
Select Suite - Pick 2 (from Survey, Civil, Hydrology, GIS, Point Cloud Basic, CadNet)$ 3,350$ 3,685* See in store
Survey$ 2,150$ 2,365* See in store
Civil$ 1,950$ 2,145* See in store
Hydrology$ 1,550$ 1,705* See in store
GIS$ 1,250$ 1,375* See in store
Takeoff Suite
(Construction, CADNet, Trench, GeoTech)
$ 7,500$ 8,250* See in store
Construction$ 3,950$ 4,345* See in store
CADNet$ 1,750$ 1,925* See in store
Trench$ 1,595$ 1,755.50* See in store
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 1,755.50* See in store
Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 9,000$ 9,900* See in store
Survey with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 3,250$ 3,575* See in store
Other Software or Hardware*See in store

Upgrading Carlson Software

IntelliCAD/for CAD Products

Upgrades are managed through the Annual Maintenance Plan which, essentially. allows users to pre-pay for future upgrades.  As long as your Maintenance is active at the time a new version is released, you are eligible for an automatic upgrade to the new version.

See additional information about Maintenance below…

 

Survey and Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Maintenance is NOT available for these products so upgrades are only available after a new version has been released.

The cost to upgrade Carlson’s OEM products is subject to change each year and varies depending on the program and how many versions behind you are.

However, Carlson never charges more than 50% of the current retail price to upgrade any license to the latest and greatest version of the software.

You can click here to request Custom Pricing for your upgrade.

Carlson Software Annual Maintenance

Maintenance with New Licenses

Every new license of Carlson with IntelliCAD/for CAD includes 90 days of free Maintenance. This is Carlson’s way of ensuring that anyone who purchases a new license inside of that 90-day window can be assured of getting the free upgrade.

 

Renewing Maintenance Before it Expires

Renewing Maintenance is optional for users.

However, if you prefer to keep your software up-to-date when new versions are released, keeping the Maintenance plan active is the best way to do that.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software.

 

Renewing Expired Maintenance

If your Maintenance has expired, you can pay the regular 10% Maintenance fee plus the expiration fee to activate your Maintenance for one-year. While Maintenance is active, you’ll be eligible for an immediate upgrade to the current version AND for automatic upgrades to any new versions released during the Maintenance year.

 

How Old is Too Old (to Renew)?

For licenses of Carlson with IntelliCAD/for CAD that are more than 4 years old, users can pay 50% of the retail price to activate Maintenance for 1-year.

While Maintenance is active, you’ll be eligible for an immediate upgrade to the current version AND for automatic upgrades to any new versions released during the Maintenance year.

See the tables below for sample pricing for Carlson Maintenance.

 

Carlson Software Maintenance Fees – per Product

Carlson’s policy on Software Maintenance can be viewed by clicking here

ProgramRetail Price
of Standalone
(effective 10/16/2023)
Annual Maintenance
for Standalone
Retail Price
of Network
Annual Maintenance
for Network
Select Suite Pick 6$ 4,950$ 495$ 5,445$ 544.50
Select Suite Pick 5$ 4,650$ 465$ 5,115$ 511.50
Select Suite Pick 4$ 4,250$ 425$ 4,675$ 467.50
Select Suite Pick 3$ 3,850$ 385$ 4,235$ 423.50
Select Suite Pick 2$ 3,350$ 335$ 3,685$ 368.50
Civil Suite$ 4,250$ 425$ 4,675$ 467.50
Survey$ 2,150$ 215$ 2,365$ 236.50
Civil$ 1,950$ 195$ 2,145$ 214.50
Hydrology$ 1,550$ 155$ 1,705$ 170.50
GIS$ 1,250$ 125$ 1,375$ 137.50
Takeoff Suite$ 7,500$ 750$ 8,250$ 825.00
Construction$ 3,950$ 395$ 4,345$ 434.50
CADNet$ 1,750$ 175$ 1,925$ 192.50
Trench$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50

 

Carlson Software Maintenance & Expiration Fees

Carlson’s policy on Software Maintenance can be viewed by clicking here

Maintenance StatusAnnual Maintenance
(Percentage of Retail)
Expiration Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee to Renew
(Percentage of Retail)
Active10%010%
Expired, up to 1 year10%10%20%
Expired, up to 2 years10%20%30%
Expired, up to 3 years10%30%40%
Expired, more than 3 years10%40%50%

 

Sample Pricing for Active and Expired Maintenance Renewal Fees

Carlson’s policy on Software Maintenance can be viewed by clicking here

Program# of Years ExpiredRetail PriceTotal Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee to Upgrade and/or
Renew Maintenance for 1 Year
SurveyNot expired, maintenance is current$ 2,15010%$ 215.00
SurveyExpired for less than 1 year$ 2,15020%$ 430.00
Networked SurveyExpired for less than 1 year$ 2,365
20%$ 473.00
Civil Suite or Select Suite Pick 4Not expired, maintenance is current$ 4,25010%$ 425.00
Civil Suite or Select Suite Pick 4Expired for less than 1 year$ 4,25020%$ 850.00
Networked Civil Suite or Select Suite Pick 4Expired for less than 1 year$ 4,67520%$935.00

Carlson Licensing

Perpetual Licensing

A purchase of Carlson Software grants a perpetual license to the owner. This means that, once purchased, you “own it” and never need to pay additional fees to use it.

 
Network Licensing

Carlson allows users to “network” their licenses for an additional fee. The fee is 10% of the retail price of the software being networked.

 
Installing and Re-Installing

When installing their desktop software, Carlson recognizes 5 different “Reasons for Installation”:

 

 

 

 

 

After installation and registration, Carlson provides a Registration Report that includes a “Change Key” and it’s a good idea to save the report and the change key.

And here’s a Pro-Tip for you! The Serial Number screen on your That CAD Girl Customer Portal has a “Customer Notes” section – that’s a great place to save your Change Key and other important information about each license!

System Requirements for Desktop Software

Because it changes from version to version, my “go-to” answer is this FAQ which links directly to Carlson’s website and their recommendations for running Carlson with embedded AutoCAD (OEM), on top of AutoCAD and with IntelliCAD.

FAQ: What are the system requirements to run Carlson Software in the office? Do I need a monster computer?

Technical Support & Training

Carlson Software offers FREE technical support for Carlson Software and IntelliCAD. This is the case whether you are running the latest version of Carlson or one that’s 10 years old or, even, if you’re only trying before you buy.

You can see all the opportunities for training with That CAD Girl here and you can follow these links to see our FAQs about the training and technical support available from Carlson and That CAD Girl.

30-Day Trials

Want to try before you buy? Any Carlson desktop software is available for a 30 day trial – just Click here to request a 30 day trial.

Once you decide to purchase, you won’t even need to uninstall. You can activate your software by simply updating your registration with your purchased serial number.

Why Buy from That CAD Girl?

Want to try before you buy? Any Carlson desktop software is available for a 30 day trial – just Click here to request a 30 day trial.

Once you decide to purchase, you won’t even need to uninstall. You can activate your software by simply updating your registration with your purchased serial number.


    If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

    [FAQ220] What versions of AutoCAD & IntelliCAD & Windows does Carlson run on top of? Does it run on AutoCAD LT? (a running thread)
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    Carlson Desktop Software with IntelliCAD or for Your AutoCAD

    Carlson can be installed on top of any full-AutoCAD-based program such as AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d.

    Carlson cannot be installed on top of any version AutoCAD LT.

    Carlson VersionAutoCAD & IntelliCAD PlatformsWindows Platforms
    2024AutoCAD 2018-2024, IntelliCAD 10.1a and 11.164 bit Windows
    2023AutoCAD 2018-2023, IntelliCAD 10.1a and 11.064 bit Windows
    2022AutoCAD 2017-2022, IntelliCAD 10.0a and 10.1a64 bit Windows 10
    2021AutoCAD 2017-2021, Intellicad 10.0a64 bit Windows 10
    2020AutoCAD 2015-2020, IntelliCAD 9.264 bit Windows 10
    2019AutoCAD 2010-2019, IntelliCAD 932 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    2018AutoCAD 2010-2018, IntelliCAD 8.232 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    2017AutoCAD 2010-2017, IntelliCAD 8.232 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    2016AutoCAD 2007-2016, IntelliCAD 8.132 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    2015AutoCAD 2007-2015, IntelliCAD 8.0XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1
    2014AutoCAD 2004-2014, IntelliCAD 7.2XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

     

    Carlson Desktop Software with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

    Carlson VersionEmbedded AutoCAD EngineWindows Platforms
    Survey 20242022264 bit Windows
    Survey 2023202264 bit Windows
    Survey 2022/Takeoff R12202264 bit Windows
    Survey 2021201864 bit Windows
    Survey 2020201864 bit Windows
    Survey 2019/Takeoff R11201864 bit Windows
    Survey 2018/Takeoff R102018Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    Survey 2017/Takeoff R92013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    Survey 20162013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    Survey 2015/Takeoff R82013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    Survey 2014/Takeoff R72013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10


      If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

      [FAQ241] Is embedded AutoCAD (OEM) more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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      The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) that ships with Carlson Survey (OEM) and Takeoff (OEM) is much closer to an AutoCAD LT than to full-AutoCAD.

      FAQ: Compared to AutoCAD or IntelliCAD, what would I miss in the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) versions of Survey & Takeoff? (a running thread)


        If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

        [FAQ262] Whew, what’s with all these changes to Autodesk purchasing, renting, subscriptions, etc…? Can you help?
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        As to the first question… Whew, what’s with all these changes to Autodesk purchasing, renting, subscriptions, etc…? 

        My answer is: I have no earthly idea and God bless Carlson Software for loving their customers and making it so easy!

        In all seriousness, Autodesk’s pricing and purchasing model is changing so often and in substantial ways, I can’t keep up with it either.

        I am not an Autodesk reseller so I can’t help other than to make referrals and give my opinion. But, I have a couple Autodesk resellers that I trust and who have helped me keep my own licenses of AutoCAD and Civil 3d straight over the years. They have also been hugely helpful to my Carlson customers needing to purchase licenses of AutoCAD.

        Feel free to email me for a referral.


          If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

          [FAQ025] How can I access and use my old Civil 3d, Land Desktop, Eagle Point or Terra Model data?
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          The simple answer is “use LandXML”.

          From my Picks and Clicks: LandXML Data article in Professional Surveyor

          What Is LandXML?

          LandXML refers to a file format (.xml) containing data that has been generated from a civil engineering or land surveying software program.

          If you’re hearing about it for the first time and want to learn more about the uses and acceptance of the LandXML initiative, visit www.landxml.org. According to their page LandXML.org in a Nutshell, “… LandXML.org is committed to providing a non-proprietary data standard (LandXML), driven by an industry consortium of partners.”

          Simply put, the easiest way to convert, transfer, and archive data between Civil 3D, Carlson Software, Land Desktop, Eagle Point, TerraModel, and many other programs is to use the Import from LandXML and Export to LandXML functions available in these programs. Additionally, many machine control systems allow you to import LandXML files. I am most familiar with the Carlson and Autodesk families of civil/survey programs, so most examples in this article refer to them.

          For a little more current look at where LandXML is today, you don’t want to miss this archived webinar from September 2015: If You’re Not Using LandXML, You Should Be… Yes, All of You!

          The very best advice I can give to anyone who has years of archived Land Desktop, Terra Model or Eagle Point data and is still able to get into and run those programs is to start exporting all of it to LandXML files – starting yesterday! Many of these programs will be (or already are) impossible to re-install on new Windows computers so take advantage of it while you can.

          Since LandXML is the industry standard, having all that data in the generic XML format virtually guarantees that you will be able to convert and work with it in any new software package you use in the future.

          In addition to LandXML, Carlson gives you a bunch of different ways to import, export and convert data to and from other desktop, field and machine control software. For instance, here’s the menu for Import/Export Surface Data that’s in Construction, Civil & Survey:

          2017_ImportExportSurfaces

           

           

           

           

           

           

          Civil 3d data is, by far, the most difficult data to share… In some cases it’s literally impossible to save data such as points and surfaces and be able to use it in any previous version of Civil 3d!

          However, you can use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD commands in Civil 3d to basically explode all the custom entities so they can be opened and used in other programs or in earlier versions of Civil 3d. Of course, by exploding everything, you essentially lose any perceived benefit of working on the drawing in Civil 3d.


            If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

            [FAQ026] How can I install Land Desktop on a Windows 7 computer?
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            Here’s a little trick that may allow you to install Land Desktop on Windows 7 machines without using a virtual machine or XP Mode…

            I had actually forgotten about this but recently had to re-install Land Desktop myself and I figured it was worth sharing. This method is not guaranteed but it just might work.

            Instead of trying to install Land Desktop from the original DVD, try copying the contents of the DVD to a new folder on the hard drive of the Windows 7 machine. Then, run the installation from there by clicking on the Setup.exe file.

            I haven’t tried this with anything newer than Windows 7 but it worked flawlessly on my Windows 7 64 bit computer.


              If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

              [FAQ240] Is IntelliCAD more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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              I believe you will find the functionality of IntelliCAD to be MUCH closer to that found in full-versions of AutoCAD than to AutoCAD LT or even the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs that Carlson offers.

              Now, you also shouldn’t expect IntelliCAD to be the equivalent of today’s AutoCAD. IntelliCAD is a generic version of AutoCAD and will have the feel of an older “model” of AutoCAD and be missing some of the bells and whistles included in newer releases of AutoCAD.

              But, it’s more customizable, supports LISP routines and 3D drafting.

              Follow these links to see my FAQs that explain the differences between AutoCAD, Carlson’s IntelliCAD and the embedded AutoCAD  (OEM) platforms.

              You may also want to read this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD that I wrote for Professional Surveyor Magazine several years ago.


                If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                [FAQ242] What’s the difference between Carlson with IntelliCAD and with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform?
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                The price is the biggest difference.

                Whether you’re using Carlson Survey or Takeoff on the IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform, the Survey and Takeoff functionality will be identical. Any differences are going to be strictly limited to the underlying engine – IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD.

                • From a feature and functionality standpoint, IntelliCAD will be closer to a full AutoCAD and embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will be closer to an AutoCAD LT.
                • IntelliCAD is generic version of AutoCAD and tracks closer to a 4-5 year old version of AutoCAD. See this FAQ comparing IntelliCAD and AutoCAD
                • Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will look more like today’s AutoCAD and may have more of the current bells and whistles – but it’ll also be missing some key functionality such as the ability to create aliases (command shortcuts) and load LISP routines. See this FAQ comparing embedded AutoCAD (OEM) and AutoCAD

                It’s a work in progress but you can check out this FAQ where I’m starting a list of the differences between the two programs.


                  If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                  [FAQ260] Why do you prefer Carlson Civil Suite over Civil 3d?
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                  Well, how long do you have? Better grab a cup of coffee. Make it a Grande… isn’t that the biggest one? Anyhoo, no surprise, I think Carlson is the best option in software for land surveyors, engineers and contractors on the market these days.

                  I always qualify my endorsement by acknowledging the fact that I make my living selling their software; but, I’m independent. And, if some day I get to the point where I no longer believe Carlson is the best option, I’ll be up front and admit that too.

                  I’ve written several times and in various formats over the years about Carlson vs Civil 3d and those word-storms seem to hold up pretty well so, rather than repeat everything, I’ll just link to the old stuff and put a few new comments in at the bottom here.

                  And, yes, it’s pretty much cheating but I’m stealing most of the rest of this from my FAQ I miss my Land Desktop/LDD! What is my next, best option?

                  One Reason I’m a Carlson Fan

                  Carlson has a lot of the dynamic functionality (RoadNet, LotNet, Design Pad Template, etc.) that we wanted in Land Desktop. But, the entities created by these cool automated tools are all standard CAD entities such as polylines and 3d polylines and text.

                  The benefit is that, when you get to the end of your design and need to pinpoint and tweak an area, you have the option of doing basic CAD-editing of standard polylines or text to make changes the old-fashioned way.

                  One of my complaints about Civil 3d is that users get very little credit for knowing AutoCAD. Civil 3d requires you to create “Styles” for everything and these styles override basic CAD management of all other properties such as colors, layers, linetypes, text styles, formatting and so on.

                  Here is one of my favorite examples to illustrate the point. I have a 100 x 200 lot below that has a label inside for area in square footage and acres. The labels are generic and crappy-looking but I can change that later. At this point, all I want to do is add a silly comma so that the area in SF reads “20,000 SF”.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  If I’m in Carlson, I double-click on the label and edit it – because it’s CAD and it’s text.

                  If I’m in Civil 3d, that label is tied to the parcel-object and the style of the object must be changed. Unless you explode the object and lose all the perceived benefits of Civil 3d, there are many clicks and digging deep into dialog boxes to make the same change.


                    If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                    [FAQ244] Compared to AutoCAD or IntelliCAD, what would I miss in the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) versions of Survey & Takeoff? (a running thread)
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                    I can’t say that I use the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) version a lot because, to me, the platform underneath is much closer to an AutoCAD LT than it is to an AutoCAD and there are many functions I miss. And, since AutoCAD and IntelliCAD are so similar, it makes sense to also compare the features and functionality of the embedded AutoCAD products with IntelliCAD.

                    Some AutoCAD commands, such as the Layer Tools that used to be in Express Tools and are now in the Layers II toolbar of AutoCAD, have been built into the Carlson menus. So even though you may not find the Layers II toolbar you can still freeze and isolate layers by picking entities on the screen.

                    I’ll keep this post as a running thread and will add to it as I come across functions or features you may miss.

                    Differences between embedded AutoCAD (OEM) and full AutoCAD or IntelliCAD:

                    • In OEM – Can’t load LSP files (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
                    • In OEM – Can’t change command aliases (acad.pgp) or Carlson QuickKeys (verified in 2016) – although you may find a workaround in this Carlson KB Article:Bits and Pieces. This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
                    • In OEM – The command REGEN is available but REGENALL is not (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
                    • In OEM – Carlson Startup Settings (aka Launch Options) such as setting a default template (.dwt) file are not available in the OEM (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
                    • In OEM and IntelliCAD – Express Tools aren’t available. However, you can use Carlson’s Layer Tools and Layer Toolbar as a workaround to replace the Express Tools Layers commands and the Layers II toolbar.


                      If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                      [FAQ251] What’s the difference between Carlson’s annual maintenance and an Autodesk subscription?
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                      Other than one being wildly expensive and like doing a stint in Supermax? Just kidding…

                      The main difference between Carlson’s maintenance plan and Autodesk’s subscription is that Carlson’s tech support is not tied to maintenance at all while Autodesk tech support is only available for no additional fee to those who are current on subscription.

                      Also, in the past few years, there have been so many changes to Autodesk’s Subscription policies that it’s practically impossible to keep up and know exactly what you’re getting for that big price tag.

                      Regardless of whether you’re current on maintenance, whether you’ve let it lapse, whether you’re using today’s version of the software or whether you’re using a version that’s 10 years old, tech support is free from Carlson.

                      You can view the Carlson Software Maintenance Policy here


                        If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                        [FAQ243] If I buy Carlson, should I go with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM)? Or with IntelliCAD? or just buy AutoCAD?
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                        In my opinion, if you’ve been using any program that includes a full-license of AutoCAD as a platform (AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3d) for years, you will be greatly disappointed and frustrated with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) version. You may think you’re getting AutoCAD, but you’re getting something closer to AutoCAD LT.
                         
                        So… long-time, mostly happy AutoCAD users should only consider running Carlson on IntelliCAD or installing on top of a separate license of AutoCAD.
                         
                        The next part is the hard part: IntelliCAD? Or AutoCAD? The answer to this will basically come down to $$$ dollar-signs $$$.
                         
                        If you already have a licensed version of AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d that can be installed under your Carlson then you are in great shape. You can hope for the best and install Carlson with IntelliCAD but you’re also prepared for the worst. If you’re not happy with IntelliCAD, you can install your same Carlson license on top of your AutoCAD.
                         
                        But, what if you don’t own a copy of AutoCAD or would need to pay to upgrade an old copy to run with Carlson? Is it worth it?
                         
                        It might be. If you’re a power-user and are truly losing productivity with IntelliCAD then I believe you can justify the cost to buy a new or upgrade an old AutoCAD. I usually recommend it this way, “If and when your frustration level reaches about 4000-bucks, buy AutoCAD!”.
                         
                        I know you’ll be shocked to learn that most sole-proprietors/business owners will stick with IntelliCAD much longer (or forever!) before they can justify the outlay of money for AutoCAD.
                         
                        For a more detailed look, see this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD from Professional Surveyor magazine.
                         


                          If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                          [FAQ261] Can I buy my AutoCAD from you?
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                          Nope. I only sell Carlson Software so you’ll need to find an Autodesk dealer to help you with Autodesk purchases. If you like, you can click here to search Autodesk’s site for a local reseller.
                           
                          Or, send me an email and I’ll tell you my favorite, secret source. Shhh…


                            If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                            [FAQ263] I miss my Land Desktop/LDD! What is my next, best option?
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                            I feel ya!

                            I really do miss the days when we had several options for our design software but the market has consolidated down to, pretty much, Civil 3d or Carlson Software.

                            My biases are obviously clear but, in my opinion, Carlson is far and away the closest thing to an upgrade to Land Desktop that’s on the market today. Carlson has a lot of the dynamic functionality (RoadNet, LotNet, Design Pad Template, etc.) that we wanted in Land Desktop. But, the entities created by these cool automated tools are all standard CAD entities such as polylines and 3d polylines and text.

                            The benefit is that, when you get to the end of your design and need to pinpoint and tweak an area, you have the option of doing basic CAD-editing of standard polylines or text to make changes the old-fashioned way.

                            One of my complaints about Civil 3d is that users get very little credit for knowing AutoCAD. Civil 3d requires you to create “Styles” for everything and these styles override basic CAD management of all other properties such as colors, layers, linetypes, text styles, formatting and so on.

                            Here is one of my favorite examples to illustrate my point. I have a 100 x 200 lot below that has a label inside for area in square footage and acres. The labels are generic and ugly but I can change that later. At this point, all I want to do is add a silly comma so that the area in SF reads “20,000 SF”.

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            If I’m in Carlson, I double-click on the label and edit it – because it’s CAD and it’s text.

                            If I’m in Civil 3d, that label is tied to the parcel-object and the style of the object must be changed. Unless you explode the object and lose all the perceived benefits of Civil 3d, there are many clicks and digging deep into dialog boxes to make the same change.


                              If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                              [FAQ210] What should I buy if I need a basic CAD program (like AutoCAD LT)?
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                              Update October 2017

                              In September, Carlson Software introduced a new program in their lineup: Carlson iCAD. This program is comparable to AutoCAD LT with basic drafting and inquiry tools but is built on IntelliCAD 8.3.

                              FAQ: What features are in Carlson iCAD? (a running thread)

                              View Carlson iCAD in our online store


                              Original post is below

                              If you truly, truly only need generic-CAD functionality, I recommend purchasing Carlson GIS with IntelliCAD. It’s the cheapest of all the desktop products and you can load this basic IntelliCAD menu:

                               
                              2016_IntelliCADMenu
                               
                              by picking the IntelliCAD button from the Carlson Programs toolbar:
                               

                              2017_Programs_Toolbar

                               
                              Extra Bonus! IntelliCAD is much closer to AutoCAD than AutoCAD LT… you’ll have much more functionality at a cheaper price! And, if you ever need a little bit of GIS, you can do that too.


                                If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                                [FAQ023] Use DWG Convert to save DWG files to an earlier version
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                                With the 2018 version of the Autodesk products now released, anyone using an older version of AutoCAD (or IntelliCAD) can expect to start receiving 2018 .dwg files that they can’t access because it’s an incompatible version. This is where the DWG Convert function inside of DWG TrueView can be a lifesaver.

                                DWG TrueView is FREE utility available from Autodesk. They release a new version of this program every year, just like their other products.

                                With the True Convert utility you can convert any newer version DWG or DXF to any earlier version. I’d recommend you enable the option that creates a .bak file with the original just in case you need it later.

                                Inside the True Convert utility you can also enable several other options that will run routines such as Audit, Purge, XREF Binding, etc. during the convert process.

                                You can download DWG True View 2018 here.

                                 
                                The image below shows how to access DWG Convert in True View:

                                 
                                See below for some of the “cleanup” options available during the Conversion process:


                                  If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                                  [FAQ022] Is Carlson Field to Finish the same as Land Desktop or Civil 3d Description Keys?
                                  +
                                  Similar, but not the same.
                                   
                                  Land Desktop and Civil 3D Description Keys are used to sort inserted points onto layers, insert symbols and do various other point-related tasks based on a point’s raw description. There are separate routines in the programs for creating automatic linework that connects points using additional field-coding.
                                   
                                  Carlson combines all of that functionality into the Field to Finish routine. Whether you need to sort points to layers, insert symbols or create automatic linework based on field-coding, Field to Finish manages it all.


                                    If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal or emailing us at [email protected] the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software.

                                     

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